Disillusion from Germany
Who are we? Where do we go? These are the kind of existential questions that have arisen for many of us during these last years and that have also been haunting DISILLUSION during the process of creating their fourth full-length "Ayam". Without a chance to perform live and their personal lives also being affected by many restrictions the focus of the German avant-gardists shifted fully towards their band and the creation of new songs as well as recording. The effect is audible: "Ayam" sounds richer, even more multi-layered, and fully matured compared to the already highly praised previous releases. Yet the intricacies of their music are never just a means to an end, but more than anything all the complexity is subjugated to serve the inner feeling and cinematic aspect of each song itself.
The thematic questions and multi-dimensional layers of the songs are also reflected in the album title "Ayam". The word derives from Sanskrit and means "This One". Pronounced in English it sounds like "I am", while reading it backwards turns it into "Maya", which is neither an accident nor explained by the band that obviously likes to offer riddles.
While DISILLUSION stuck closer together, they were also searching their hearts whether it was time to change old habits and try out something new. This led to the excellent decision to leave the mix of the album to different ears than the bands' for the first time. Their choice could not have been better as renowned producer Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, MOONSPELL) once again worked his exciting magic and enhanced their already unique sound by shining a sonic spotlight to the most important aspects such as the vocals.
Founded around singer and guitarist Andy Schmidt in the East Germany city of Zwickau in 1994, DISILLUSION pulled the rare trick of already becoming a staple in the field of avant-garde melodic death metal with the release of their full-length debut "Back to Times of Splendor" in 2004. The Germans have always been driven to seek new challenges and find new ways to evolve their music, which was exemplified by the following album "Gloria" that took radical musical steps in several directions at the same time. "Gloria" was far ahead of its time in terms of composition and sound, which becomes apparent when compared to GOJIRA's masterpiece "Magma" for example that came out a decade later.
Despite their early success, DISILLUSION took a creative hiatus until suddenly returning in 2016 with the single "Alea" and a new line-up that had changed in several positions. Quite likely even to the band's surprise, a large and loyal fan base had formed during the decade of their absence, which showed in sold out shows and a highly successful crowdfunding campaign to realise a new album, which the Germans repeated for "Ayam".
When "The Liberation" was released in 2019, critics described the album as a logical continuation of "Back to Times of Splendor". Its songs reflected 15 years of additional experience in the musical development of Andy Schmidt. "The Liberation" turbo-charged all of DISILLUSION's best qualities: the perfect interplay of massive metal with moments of pure euphoria and quiet introspection that create a sonic rollercoaster ride of passionate emotions.
With "Ayam", DISILLUSION again sail among the stars to new stellar constellations of heavy sounds. While staying true to their general course, the German avant-garde pioneers also continue dropping anchor to explore new planets sparkling in space with a multitude of radiant sounds. "Ayam" offers exciting evolution rather than radical revolution, and DISILLUSION's new musical forms and means are most beautiful and astonishing to behold. This album is a golden ticket to join the extraordinary journey of a life-time. Please feel free to check-in anytime you like!